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Key trends shaping the future of marketing

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A recent industry event that brought together global rainmakers in the advertising and marketing business threw up some fascinating insights. The industry experts explored how marketing can be a purpose-driven and powerful weapon in redefining virtual reality as the “new reality,” starting with the subject “Future of Identity, Role of Tech in Communications.” Brand executives discussed going beyond platforms to create a frictionless environment of entertainment, wellness, and commerce for the end-user that is custom-built and personalised.

Creating meaningful exchanges

Talking about the need to establish a clear value exchange that will enable growth and trust by cultivating meaningful long-term partnerships across the ecosystem, Shivendra Misra, Director APAC at IAB Tech Lab, said, “The future of identity is about expanding our learning, collaborating with publishers and partners – in short, accelerating beyond our comfort zones.”

Speakers discussed the concept of “E-joy,” a pleasant feeling gained from the perks of e-commerce, such as its ease, variety, and a bouquet of brands and products such as online-only promotions and appealing bundles, while e-commerce fuels unprecedented growth across every sector.

“With the emergence of online marketplaces, the number of hours spent in a week by a highly engaged audience eager to find and purchase implies e-commerce is all set to win,” said Tejas Kirodiwal, Head of Growth at Zalora.

According to analysts, the future of e-commerce is “entertainment commerce”, with Unilever’s Head of Digital and Media, Javed Jafri, elaborating on this concept. “This means that branded content will have more opportunity to play a more advanced role outside of e-commerce spaces. In light of the evolved consumer journey funnel, social commerce gives us an indication of how that’s already well along.”

“It is about passion, purpose, and consistency,” Jin Lim, Content Creator and Founder of JinnyBoy TV, said of the future of social media. “We should not think of social media as a single post or an Instagram story, but as a multi-creator and multi-format ecosystem that delivers impact. The 9×16 revolution is about developing for a no-frills, content-first, and mobile-first audience.”

Reversing the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation is an acute problem that we are getting to be all too familiar with. As teams work around the clock to address work concerns, burnout and mental fatigue are very real concerns to deal with. In light of this, talent retention becomes a major challenge for businesses throughout the world. The hot-button topic of talent management, as well as using technology to develop future teams that are inclusive and diverse, were at the forefront of the leaders’ concerns.

Rashi Kalucha, Regional HR Lead Business Partner (APAC) at GroupM, expressed her view, “We need to see talents as our invested business partners. Therefore, they have to be managed using technology, the same way we manage our marketing investments.” “We should use technology to track employee sentiment and engagement the same way we do for media. This is especially relevant as Wellness[in the workplace] makes a comeback onto center stage.”

Santharuban Thurai Sundaram, CEO of Atlas Vending, chimed inaptly about talent playing an important role alongside technology to bring ideas to life. He emphasized the enormous responsibility of agencies to retain and grow the talent pool and ensure greater cross-collaboration. HR professionals were urged to better use technology to “monitor, measure, learn from, and generate solutions” that would improve employee retention and general well-being. 

Responsibility in the Metaverse

“Responsibility” was brought up frequently when it came to marketing in a multidimensional world that involved virtual reality, non-fungible tokens, cryptocurrency, and decentralized finance that places the power back into the hands of the end-users, the creators, and the consumers. Business leaders unanimously agreed that marketers must take the lead in addressing critical issues such as sustainability, brand safety, data privacy, and ensuring greater transparency across the value chain.

Senior executives from Malaysia Airlines, Astro Radio, Rocketfuel Entertainment, GroupM, and Volvo Cars surmised that as important as a well-crafted message is, marketers must also consider the consequence and influence on the receiver. Taking responsibility entails first empowering, then educating, and then respecting the response. Only then can we together shape a better future for all, in the metaverse or in real-life.

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